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Marketing Agency Exposed Podcast

Dec 31, 2019


Bob Hutchins, Brad Ayres, and Ken Ott talk about their Marketing Superpowers in the very first episode of Agency Exposed!  They share how they wound up in Nashville, discuss running your business based on your strengths and staying in your lane of expertise when it comes to working with new clients. 


Top 3 Curtain Pulls in this episode: 

  1. Stay in your lane of expertise, play to your strengths and develop those to be the BEST at that thing. 
  2. Cultivate a mindset of ABUNDANCE (not scarcity) within your organization.
  3. Creating internal processes are a NECESSITY for growth. 


About The Guys: 

Bob Hutchins: Founder of BuzzPlant, a digital agency that he ran from from 2000 -2017. He is also the author of 3 books. More on Bob: 


Brad Ayres: Founder of Anthem Republic, an award-winning ad agency. Brad’s knowledge has led some of the biggest brands in the world. Originally from Detroit, Brad is an OG in the ad agency world and has the wisdom and scars to prove it. Currently that knowledge is being applied to his boutique agency. More on Brad:


Ken Ott: Co-Founder and Chief Growth Rebel of Metacake, an Ecommerce Growth Team for some of the world’s most influential brands with a mission to Grow Brands That Matter. Ken is also an author, speaker, and was nominated for an Emmy for his acting on the Metacake Youtube Channel (not really). More on Ken: 


Show Notes:

[0:20] - Brad Ayres shares about growing up in Detroit, what brought him to Nashville, and the origin of Anthem Republic. 

  • “Helping companies really see who they are… define what their anthem is and to help get their employees, their constituents, and their customers behind it.”

[4:24] - Ken Ott tells us about his childhood in Queens and how the tough lessons he learned early on have informed the growth of Metacake and his passion for GROWTH in every aspect of life.  

  • Metacake is an ECommerce Growth Team that offers expertise in 3 areas: Paid marketing, Site building (optimization), & Email marketing. 

[12:00] -  Bob Hutchins tells us about his early passion for technology, early days in Christian ministry and transition to entrepreneurship, moving to Nashville and 17+ years of agency experience. 

[15:20] - Question #1: What is your Superpower? 

  • These are things that are natural gifts/strengths that have helped in developing business/career and give you the opportunity to do something unique. 

[17:30] - Ken loves GROWTH! 

  • “I’m relentless and I seek it out… that’s part of the fiber of who we are as a company.”
  • Sharing ideas, pain points, and lessons learned with other agencies is something that has been frowned upon in the past. Metacake believes that collaboration and communication with companies that would typically be considered competition is a NECESSITY. 

[20:07] Bob, Ken, & Brad talk about Transparency, Collaboration, and why entrepreneurs are drawn to the Greater Nashville area. 

  • Open minded and more collaborative than other cities, where competition and a “we’re experts in everything” mindset.

[23:07] Brad talks about The Active Antagonist 

  • “We always have to create an active antagonist, someone that’s gonna be against you. I’ve let that down here… The only person who is against me, is me. And my own limitations and the box I put myself in."

[23:34] Scarcity vs Abundance

[24:56]  Bob asks: How much does the local/regional culture impact your mindset & the way you do business in a connected, international world? 

  • Scarcity vs Abundance: The Guys discuss the importance of your Business/Living Culture and how it influences your Business Success
  • Often client expectations do not meet up with reality, so it’s important to be aware of how a client expects to communicate and work with you. 

[33:21] How to say no when you feel out of your lane/expertise.

  • Metacake’s business evolution and client philosophy
  • Ken on options vs creating your own standards. “There are 3 basic business models, be the best, be the only one, or the cheapest.” Only 1 leads to lasting impact and high levels of expertise.

[39:00] Making yourself indispensable to your clients

  • Brad: “Make yourself indispensable and you’ll never be out of a job.”

[42:00] Is the customer "always right" in 2019? 

[44:20] In order to be the best at what you do, internal/business health comes first. 

  • Service does not mean servant! 
  • The Guys discuss processes and policies within your business and how it impacts your long-term internal health. Processes help to remove your personality and emotions from the business atmosphere. 
  • Brad: “Your business is run by processes, and people run the processes.”
  • Bob on the challenge of creating internal processes: “How do you provide an environment of freedom, creativity, and ultimately a beautiful product at the end for the client or service, whatever it may be.. That functions head and shoulders above what they have, and put restrictions on that.” 

[52:29] The Guys wrap up by discussing strengths, weaknesses, and partnership. 

  • “Rather than trying to work overtime on the things you’re really bad at to kinda get yourself even, work more on the things you’re really good at and become the best at those things. Be aware of what you’re not good at… but when you know you’re not the best, find other people that are.”